The top four online retailers — Amazon UK, Argos, Play and Tesco — have all retained their places in the latest Hitwise Hot Shops List. They are followed by Amazon.com (5) and Marks and Spencer (6), who have swapped places for the latest chart.
Expedia (7), up nine places, leads the ten travel companies in the list followed by Thomson Holidays (8) which is up fourteen and easyJet (9) which is up three. Thomas Cook is up 28 places at number 15 but Ryanair (16) and lastminute.com (23) both fell. TravelRepublic.co.uk (44) came back in from its short break from the List, having dropped out last time, making its fourth visit.
Asos (13) climbed again, as it has for each of the past seven quarters, up from the forty-sixth spot in August 2007 and Comet (17) has also reached its highest ever position, up from twenty-fourth last time.
The only new entrant was Epson, streaking in at 19.
"There is more movement on the List this time, as the battles for the top spots heat up," commented IMRG's James Roper. "Not making headway online increasingly signals that a retailer may be in trouble — as that is where all of the growth is, and e-retail growth is at the expense of the high street — so it is telling that still only half the Hot Shops List top 10 are high street brands, and just 30 of the 50 listed retailers have physical stores. These tough times will test brands' staying power and we can expect to see many more radical changes in the retail space this year."
Hitwise's director of research, Robin Goad, added that "We are sorry to see dear old Woolies go, especially after it had finally started making good progress online, even making it into the top half of the List recently; but Woolworths seems set to live on as an online brand, though pick 'n' mix will never be quite the same again."
"This is the busiest time of year for the online travel industry," he added. "So it's no surprise to see seven travel companies moving up the rankings this quarter. Some of the largest players on the list — including Expedia, easyJet and Thomas Cook — are also up year-on-year, implying that the strongest companies are gaining market share during the downturn. Hitwise search data also tells an interesting story in the travel sector, with people switching from holidays in the Eurozone and the US to domestic breaks and flights to cheaper locations such as Turkey, North Africa and India."